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Archive for January, 2007

Cash Only for One Month Yahoooooo

February 1st, 2007 at 05:21 am

For this whole month, I have been using cash only for all of my purchases. No debit card or credit card use for an entire month! The only checks I have used were to pay bills that needed to be mailed. This system has really saved me a lot of money, plus money was added to savings and credit debt was paid down. Even the hubby has got on board and he is now using the cash only system too. {{{doing the happy dance}}}

A Small Suze Orman Rant

February 1st, 2007 at 03:37 am

I just read somewhere that Suze Orman, the financial guru, is single with no kids. Nothing against people who are single or childless, but if you are lecturing families about money, shouldn't you at least have one? If I had no husband and no kids I'm certain my financial situation would be different. Things just aren't as cut and dried when you have to take a half dozen other people into consideration every time you earn, spend or save money.

A Couple of Raves...Cash Only and the Dollar Store

January 30th, 2007 at 03:51 am

I'm still on my cash-only spending plan which is working out amazingly well. I thought I would blow it this weekend because I just moved into my new offices and the first thing I wanted to do was decorate/shop/basically blow a lot of money. Fourtunately common sense took over and I only spent what cash I had. This is where the Dollar Store comes in. I have rarely shopped at this type of store but figured it was worth a shot if I was going to be able to stretch my cash. To make a long story short, the office looks beautiful and I LOVE the dollar store! Everthing for the kitchen was bought there, the daycare room was completely decorated a la dollar store and lots of odds and ends that would have cost more than a dollar at Walmart were also bought.

It's Raining Credit Card Checks

January 16th, 2007 at 03:37 am

A few months back I paid off all of my credit cards (except one which I am working on now). Anyway, I went to the post office today and what did I find in my box? Not one, not two, but envelopes from FOUR of the credit cards I had paid off each with a a half dozen "checks" that I could use to easily withdraw funds from my credit cards.

Apparently paying off credit card debt and no longer being at the mercy of these companies sends them into a tail spin and they immediatly try to woo you back into indebtedness. Are they INSANE? Do they think I WANT to be up to my ears in debt? I realize that their CEOs may not get to remodel their decks this year or trade up to the newest Mercedes because I won't be paying all of that interest and the occassional overlimit or late fee but they will just have to get over it. I know I am over being in debt.

Cash Only...Its Harder Than it Seems

January 13th, 2007 at 03:16 am

Today is day twelve of my cash only challenge (actually about day 20 but I'm counting from the first of the year to make it easier to remember). I've learned a lot in these past couple of weeks...
...Now I know why grandma's major purchases were few and far between, why she bought most things at garage sales and why she was the loss leader queen at the grocery store. Using cash only (which she did. always.) it takes time to save up for a big purchase and even when you have the money it is hard to part with it since it took so long to save it! Cash only really makes you aware of the value of each dollar.
...You have to plan ahead. When you rely on credit cards, you can always "afford" gas, food, clothes, an ipod, etc. right now and figure out how to pay for it later. With cash only you need to plan ahead for each day/week/month and ration your money accordingly. Sure you can buy the beautiful sweater today but will that leave you enough money for gas next week so you can get to work?
...Using cash only makes you get creative. There is such a challenge to stretch every penny as far as it will go so that your cash will last to cover all of the things you want to buy. With $100 today I was able to get gas ($20), stamps ($7.80), groceries--including laundry soap, toothpaste, meat, veges, baking supplies, fruit, etc that will last a week and a half (most all on sale for a total of $68) and savings ($4.20). Now for the creative part: I try to stay home two to three days a week so I dont waste gas making unnecessary trips, I pay most bills online so I dont waste stamps, we eat all of our meals at home which saves a considerable amount of money over eating out, and savings gets transfered to my ING account each week so it can make a little interest.

Overall, this is quite a dramatic change for me and something I have never tried before but it sure is giving me a financial attitude adjustment.

Thanks to everyone for all of the great tips they post in their blogs...it really is inspiring/educational/helpful to share this kind of information. Without this site I would have never thought to reign in my spending and try to live "cash only".

Day 7 Update

January 7th, 2007 at 08:36 pm

It's been seven days since my New Year's Resolutions officially started (actually it has been a little over two weeks but it is easier to count from the beginning of the year...). Here's how Ive done so far:

--regularly deposit $5 into my savings account whenever I go by the bank. So far have $77 (goal is $5000).
--pay cash only for all purchases (this is almost painful but I am much more aware of where I spend my money than when I use a credit or debit card).
--paid off the Macy's card.
--set up an automatic transfer to pay double payments on the home equity loan each month.
--generally saved money in a variety of way: bargain shopping and comparing prices, shaking out clothes after washing them and before putting them into the dryer so they dry faster and use less energy, not eating out, changing my habit of $4 Starbuck Frappacinos each day to buying milk and coffee ice cream and making them myself (at a cost of like $6 for 20 drinks!).

Overall I fell like Im doing pretty well. My next tasks are to write more freelance articles and apply for a freelance position with a local newspaper.

Another Benefit to Paying Cash

January 1st, 2007 at 11:21 pm

One of my resolutions for this year was to pay cash for all purchases except bills. No credit cards and no debit cards--cash only. So far I have been paying cash for ALL purchases for the past week and a half. I figured that by only paying cash I would spend less (which I do) but I didn't realize how quickly my change jar would fill up. Since all of the change in this jar goes for resolution #2 Save $5,000 this is a great added bonus!